The Republican Party has not yet made much progress in redefining themselves since losing in 2006 and 2008, one of the party's leading 2012 presidential contenders said Monday.

"The Republican Party is going to go through a period of transition and redefining itself," Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) said Monday during an appearance on CNBC. "Right now, I don't think you can say that great progress has been made, but I think you can say there's a sorting out process underway, and I think that's going to lead to a newer and better Republican Party."

Pawlenty said the GOP had to do a better job of generating ideas and in reaching out to more centrist and Democratic voters if it hoped to return to electoral success.

"On many -- not all -- of the issues or perspectives that conservatives or Republicans have, they [centrist Democrats] agree," Pawlenty said. "But Republicans don't do a very good job of focusing as much as we should on bread-and-butter issues."

Pawlenty is a two-term governor of a blue-leaning state with rumored presidential aspirations in 2010. He is also eligible to run for a third term as governor during a reelection campaign set for 2010.